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With ArcGIS Image Server, when is it necessary to create multiple Service Providers on one host?
Multiple service providers should be created on one host when high loads of image services are handled by one service provider. In situations where the serviceprovider.exe process exceeds the 2.15 GB Windows memory usage limitation imposed on 32-bit processes, the provider may crash and require its Windows service to be restarted. Having multiple service providers on the same host computer can therefore be used to distribute the service load and prevent the potential for a service provider to exceed its technical limitation.
The memory usage of the serviceprovider.exe process increases each time a service is published on it. This occurs because the compiled image service definition (*.ISCDef) file associated with the service is loaded into memory by the service provider's process. The *.ISCDef file is stored in a highly compressed state on disk, and it gets uncompressed by the service provider. As a result, the amount of memory used to handle one service will be significantly larger than the size of the *.ISCDef on disk.
While most implementations of ArcGIS Image Server may never approach the 2.15 GB memory usage limitation for the serviceprovider.exe process, users with a high volume of services or a small volume of very large services may potentially encounter this problem.